The Otolith (Feat. Ex-SubRosa Members) to Release New Music Next Year

If you’re the kind of person who likes a key-takeaway from a news story, here’s one: The Otolith exist. The reason that’s news is because the new outfit features ex-members of SubRosa, who decided to break my heart back in May and call it quits after releasing in 2016 one of the best albums of the decade in their now-swansong opus, For This We Fought the Battle of Ages (review here). If I’m honest, I’m not over the loss yet, but if the advent of the new outfit with Kim Cordray, Levi Hanna, Andy Patterson and Sarah Pendleton demonstrates anything, it’s that I’m not necessarily alone in that.

So, The Otolith exist. They’ll play Monolith on the Mesa next year, release an Alice in Chains cover — “Would?,” but still — on Magnetic Eye‘s homage to Dirt, and they’re working toward the eventuality of a debut full-length, which is already on my eagerly-anticipated list.

There’s no social media presence I can find as yet, but here’s the announcement of their arrival and a clip of SubRosa in Brooklyn from 2017 just for the hell of it:

the otolith

Atmospheric avant-garde doom outfit THE OTOLITH rises from the ashes of SUBROSA

Salt Lake City four-piece announce formation and plans for new music

Earlier this year, forward-looking doom juggernaut SubRosa announced its dissolution after a 13-year run, a surprise to many in light of the band’s acclaimed albums and high-profile tours and festival appearances. Few specifics were given as to the reasons for bringing SubRosa to a close, leaving fans to wonder what might follow.

That question is now being answered, as four-fifths of SubRosa – Kim Cordray, Levi Hanna, Andy Patterson and Sarah Pendleton – announce their re-constitution as The Otolith, a new four-piece they say is, “heavier than a truckload of lead bricks.”

With a name derived from crystalline inner ear structures involved in sensing gravity, direction and acceleration, the members discuss their decision to move forward:

“The end of SubRosa was extremely devastating for all of us. Through the grieving process, we realized the only way we were going to heal was to continue playing music together. After about a year, we started getting together regularly to jam, and beautiful things started to happen. Kim suggested the name, and the more we learned about its meaning, the more we loved it. We became The Otolith.”

Moving with speed and enthusiasm, the band has already signed on to two unique projects coming in early 2020.

First, they’ll contribute an original song to WOMEN OF DOOM, a collaborative album of exclusive songs highlighting and supporting female-driven artists from throughout the doom metal underground, also set to include tracks from Frayle, Besvarjelsen, and Mlny from Royal Thunder, among others.

The Otolith have also recorded a version of the Alice in Chains classic “Would?” for inclusion on the Dirt [Redux] release from Magnetic Eye Records, replacing Bell Witch after the latter dropped off the project.

Cordray, Hanna, Patterson and Pendleton will spend the winter writing The Otolith’s debut album, with plans to tour upon its release, including a confirmed slot at the second Monolith on the Mesa festival in Taos, New Mexico in May 2020.

As to the sound and musical direction fans of the members’ past work can expect, the band says:

“Some of the songs are vocally-driven, others are musically-driven with sparse vocals. Each of us will be manning the instruments we’re known to play, but we’ll all have surprise sidecars as well. This band is an anamorph that is busy growing its second row of teeth. It’s gonna be pissed. There will be swirling ambience and the heaviest of riffs. We are pouring our hearts into this.”

More news and updates will follow as the band pushes ahead and solidifies its 2020 plans.

SubRosa, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NY, 2017

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